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The Paintings of David Barbero


Forthcoming book by Jim Edwards





FOR AMERICAN PAINTERS, our country's landscape has long been a subject filled with possibilities: Formal problems are posed in the challenge of depicting geographic and climatic situations; the drama of the landscape provides a scene upon which the painter can find equivalents for human feelings.


IN THE TWENTIEH CENTURY, and certainly since the examples set by the early American modernists, Arthur Dove, Georgia O'Keeffe, John Marin and Marsden Hartley, the best American landscape painting has been produced by rugged individualists not associated with any particular school. The plein-air painters --those artists interested exclusively in the landscape as motif, whether painted on location or in the studio --were often independent visionaries. As a result they have tended to toil outside of our mid-century's fascination with urbanization and our culture's changing social values.


DAVID BARBERO began his painting career in the East Coast in the wake of the abstract




expressionist movement. New Mexico broadened his vocabulary of landscape forms and heightened his sense for light and color.


THE LANDSCAPE OF THE AMERICAN SOUTHWEST occupies a vast space. It is a geography of breathtaking beauty, at times hugely forlorn and silent. It is mostly a scantily populated region, a landscape of an often capricious disposition whose terrain has been shaped by the cycles of sun, rain, snow, and wind. It is in the high desert topography of the Southwest that Barbero mostly painted during the last twenty years of his life. He patrolled the scenic wilderness areas of the Canyonlands, Death Valley, Monument Valley, the Grand Canyon, Rio Grande Gorge, hiking and camping along their ridges and arroyos, fishing their streams, and sketching and painting their most challenging views. He experienced these remote regions as both recreation and creative source. It was the shifting moods of this landscape that Barbero came to understand so well.





Author of the forthcoming book:

The Paintings of David Barbero

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